Ben Bernanke can now add another headline to his impressive resume... Fed Chair... Blogger... and writer of fiction. As AP reports, Blogger Ben's memoir will be released in October, and the title will be "The Courage To Act," apparently inspired by the Fed's "moral courage" in the face of "bitter criticism and condemnation." While we thought perhaps "The Courage To Print" was more appropriate, it appears the book is non-fiction and thus, we suggest, the title needs an additional word of clarification: "The Courage To Act ........."
"The Fed is 'ever-interested' in doing something later," Jim Grant notes, explaining why he believes the timetable for rate hikes will be pushed back further as fear of allowing a free market in the "most critical" of prices - that of interest rates - would lead to the "unmasking of the misallocations of capital that will have come about through the levitation of asset prices." Grant further unleashes his verbal attack of truthiness when he points out that the central bank's persistent easy money policies is on display currently in the form of stifling American enterprise and sending millions of people from the workforce "more or less permanently."
In short, Bernanke bankrupted the US and most Americans in the span of ten years. He created the biggest housing bubble in 100 years and also casue the greatest Crash in 100 years. A few blog entries won’t change this.
Bernanke drove interest down to zero, where it has stayed for over 6 years. In his rationalization, he concedes an importantg point that undermines his argument (and the Fed).
With the Fed supposedly steeling itself at last to remove a little of its emergency ‘accommodation’, it has suddenly become fashionable to warn of the awful parallels with 1937 as an excuse The Fed must not act today. We strongly refute the analogy. Instead, the real Ghost of ’37 takes the form of mean-spirited and, counter-productive 'pitchfork populism' politics and the spectre should not be conjured up to excuse the central bank from further delaying its overdue embarkation on the long road back to normality and policy minimalism.
"...the deterioration in both economic data and profitability data leave a good bit of cause for near-term concern..."
In the case of the U.S., which thanks to its pool of capital, political and military power, enjoys the exorbitant privilege of having the world's reserve currency, an expansive Fed will not even necessarily "throw seniors under the bus", as one of Bernanke's critics once mentioned, suggesting that monetary expansion erodes life savings of senior citizens. A lot of the monetary expansion results in investment bubbles all over the planet. Some even have "credited" Bernanke with triggering the Arab "Spring", as food prices in the Middle East rose from mid-2010 to an unsustainable level after quantitative easing was re-started. It looks like Bernanke, or at least the institution he presided, is more powerful than he seems to think.
Blogger Ben’s work is already done. In his very first substantive post as a civilian he gave away all the secrets of the monetary temple. The Bernank actually refuted the case for modern central banking in one blog. The truth is the real world of capitalism is far, far too complex and dynamic to be measured and assessed with the exactitude implied by Bernanke’s gobbledygook. In fact, what his purported necessity for choosing a rate “somewhere” actually involves is the age old problem of socialist calculation.
And the answer is...
The Fed may engage in a symbolic rate hike... but we will not enter a truly hawkish period... not when the TBTFs have $551 trillion in interest rate based derivatives outstanding.
In all the annals of investing, few seemingly innocuous phrases incorporate as much by way of grave implication as those four words, “a shift to banknotes”. 2008 was bad. With central bank policy now at the outer reaches of the possible and even of the theoretical, the outlook is certainly uncertain. Not wishing to participate in the terminal stages of a momentum-driven bubble is not bearish so much as simply sane.
"When I was chairman, more than one legislator accused me and my colleagues on the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee of “throwing seniors under the bus” (to use the words of one senator) by keeping interest rates low. The legislators were concerned about retirees living off their savings and able to obtain only very low rates of return on those savings. I was concerned about those seniors as well."
- Ben Bernanke first blog post
The day is starting off on a very bizarre footing after not only Ben Bernanke became a blogger and joined Twitter, but moments ago at least one American appears to have had enough with the Big Brother state, and moments ago WNEW reported that there has been a shooting, two injured and according to local reports, there appears to be one fatality at the gate of the NSA's Fort Meade, Maryland headquarters.
- Setbacks and progress as Iran, six powers meet to end nuclear impasse (Reuters)
- Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to Leave Iran Nuclear Talks (WSJ)
- Obama Ramps Up Lobbying on Iran as Deadline Looms (WSJ)
- Greek yields edge up as lenders scrutinise reform pledge (Reuters)
- Oil prices drop on possible Iran deal, dollar (Reuters)
- Yemen’s Houthis Battle for Aden as Saudi Strikes Hit Rebels (BBG)
- Iran nuclear deal to see $20 oil if Tehran floods crude market (Telegraph)
- China’s Zhou Says PBOC Has Room to Act on Growth Slowdown (BBG)